Friday, July 2, 2010
We had an amazing late snow season after a very mediocre winter accumulation. By mid-May, the snow in the mountains had piled up to the normal levels seen in early March in most winters. After dismal late winter conditions, the snow conditions have been one of great coverage above 4500 ft. Since many of the lower tours dip below this level, I have spent most of my free weekend days on Mt. Rainier, my favorite place to backcountry tour anywhere in the Cascades.
The weather has ranged from complete whiteouts to brilliant sunshine on the days we made it up to Paradise. The trip in May was memorable only in that is was, for a good part of the descent, truly skiing by braille. The June tours yielded some excellent snow conditions on the Muir Snowfield, especially above 7000 feet elevation. The videos of these tours are located on my Vimeo site at:
http://www.vimeo.com/user550806. Stop by and view the movies and see what a difference the weather makes over the same exact route on 3 different occasions with very different conditions.
It's time for summer to roll in, though for me and most of my family, we will be in Kenya for a good portion of it. Within few weeks of returning, the first snows will likely drift into the North Cascades yet again. The cycle continues.